So I bought another sunfish....

Thread starter #1
OK, someone stop me.... They asked $450, I said no, they said $400, I still said no and they said $300. OK, done, take my money. It is a 1964 I think. Came with a rusty trailer that is at least registered so I can fix that up too. I noticed there is nothing to cleat the main sheet or run through at all.

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I found the mast cap at the bottom of the mast step.
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Original deck coating? What is the best way to fix this?
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Closer look at the deck area.
20190410_183621.jpg most of the deck is fine, all the fittings seem real tight.
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Top of the mast, a block instead of the integrated mast top. Best to swap it out?
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The drain plugs are on both sides of the deck, they are old school. Best to change it out?
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The rudder isn't in bad shape. It still has the chain on the pin. The tiller and hiking stick look original as well.
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The centerboard needs to be refinished.
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The hull is in pretty decent shape.
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This is the halyard cleat. I have never seen one look like that.
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The bow handle looks in really good shape.
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Looks like something was hungry. 20190410_190010.jpg
The sail was like a moth eaten sheet.
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#2
Deck had been painted. You’ll have to get it off there. Hopefully you can restore the original gelcoat. Rest of the boat sure is original. Block on mast seems preferable to the current setup.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#4
Nice looking boat! Sail it and see if it leaks. Fix it up during the off season.

The 1960s boats had a hook in the cockpit forward lip for the sheet, that's all you need. Add a swivel cam cleat or ratchet block as you like.

I'd sand the chippy paint with 120 grit on a random orbital sander to smooth, then fair, prime and paint. The color looks close to Interlux Brightside Medium Blue. Put a fun pant job on there.Or get it smooth and cut out a big Sunfish logo to stick over the spot from adhesive backed sailcloth.

Grab a white sail from Intensity and cut out some cool graphics from adhesive backed sailcloth.

The mast cap can be replaced with a newer cap with integral fairlead. Or use the old style block, keep an eye on the eye, sometimes the yebolts were made from soft brass chrome plated and the eye can pull open under load. The nut can also vibrate loose during car rides and bye bye mast block. A piece of tape can help prevent that.

The drain plugs are fine. Not sure the history of the halyard cleat, but Wilcox and Crittenden sold those as well as all of the other Alcort hardware, so maybe a previous owner liked that style better. And nice looking bow handle, those are usually shot.

That's a really clean looking boat!
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#5
Hi SC, I thought those odd looking deck cleats were standard back in the day, but you definitely have seen more old sunfish than I have. Also, I thought earlier boats did not have a cockpit hook, but Mashmaster, if it does, SC is right and you can use it. Good tips on keeping the mast block in place!!
 
Thread starter #6
There is nothing in the cockpit. The people I bought it from said that it was grandpa's boat and he was the only owner until he gave it to their grandson and they never sailed it. Trailer is a 1964 registration.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#7
The 1960s boats had a hook in the cockpit forward lip for the sheet, that's all you need. Add a swivel cam cleat or ratchet block as you like. I'd sand the chippy paint with 120 grit on a random orbital sander to smooth, then fair, prime and paint. The color looks close to Interlux Brightside Medium Blue. Put a fun pant job on there.Or get it smooth and cut out a big Sunfish logo to stick over the spot from adhesive backed sailcloth. Grab a white sail from Intensity and cut out some cool graphics from adhesive backed sailcloth. The mast cap can be replaced with a newer cap with integral fairlead. Or use the old style block, keep an eye on the eye, sometimes the eyebolts were made from soft brass chrome plated and the eye can pull open under load. The nut can also vibrate loose during car rides and bye bye mast block. A piece of tape can help prevent that. The drain plugs are fine. Not sure the history of the halyard cleat, but Wilcox and Crittenden sold those as well as all of the other Alcort hardware, so maybe a previous owner liked that style better. And nice looking bow handle, those are usually shot. That's a really clean looking boat!
The bow handle appears to be a replacement—with slightly oversized screws. (Check for "pull-strength").

The halyard cleat is chrome-plated zinc, so, like the old bow handle, is on its way out. (Giving preference to Sunfish' bronze alternate).

Check out the "chippy" paint on the foredeck. :oops: That's an old repair under there. (Press down to check its integrity). If the rest of the deck is nice, sail cloth looks like the best and easiest solution.

Patch and sell the sail, and put that $50 towards a new one. :cool: This is the "season" to start looking for sails (sales).

That halyard block is a lot better Wilcox & Crittendon model than what usually came from W&C for "board boats". I'd keep using it, and put the unspent money towards sails (sales). Maybe opt for a window?

Those two drains are important right now, so start a squirt of PB Blaster "working" on them. When you've managed to remove them successfully, wrap them with [plumber's] Teflon tape or use an "anti-seize" paste on them.

Getting a trailer with it, too!

Congratulations on a superb purchase. :)

.
 
#8
You did so well with the last resto you decided to do it again... that’s how it starts! Looks like you got a nice deal on a worthy project. Nothing wrong with those deck drains- they’re hard to come by. I think there were only two years that had drains on both port and starboard. Very cool that the original rudder pin and chain haven’t been lost over all these years. How’s the weight? I’d do a leak test- might have some issues under the aluminum trim. I picked up a Fish with the deck in similar shape. I was going to fair and patch paint, but once I found the leaks and removed the trim to seal the seam I decided to paint the whole boat.
Have fun bringing another old Sunfish back to life and stop looking at craigslist or you’ll end up with a garage full of boats (and a few in the yard, too!)
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#9
I'll defer to Beldar on the earlier fiberglass boats, the earliest we have seen is our 1965 and it has a sheet hook. Could have been added too, we added a swivel cam cleat. And I was thinking about guessing that those cleats were put on some factory boats, but stopped short of that.

I was too stunned to mention the hinge pin, that's a $50 part, if you can find it. We have a stash of them that are our kid's inheritance. It appears that the keeper chain is attached to the rudder versus the boat, that is a good modification. Check around the rudder assembly horizontal hinge plate (deck plate), you might see a tiny hole on the starboard side of the plate where the keeper chain eye used to be screwed down. Or could have been sealed and painted over.

Also check over that rudder hinge plate for a stamped 4 digit number, she might be a 4 digit boat. Definitely her characteristics line up with the early 60s period. Our 1965 has a serial number plate, but so does our wooden 1963. The data plates were placed between the daggerboard trunk and coaming, oval, with the Alcort emblem and a 5 digit number.

sunfish data plate.jpg

Last, check those trailer tires for their MMYY code. Anyhting over 6 years needs to be replaced. No code? I'd replace them.

WHat's her name, she's yar!
 
Thread starter #10
The bow handle appears to be a replacement—with slightly oversized screws. (Check for "pull-strength").

The halyard cleat is chrome-plated zinc, so, like the old bow handle, is on its way out. (Giving preference to Sunfish' bronze alternate).

Check out the "chippy" paint on the foredeck. :oops: That's an old repair under there. (Press down to check its integrity). If the rest of the deck is nice, sail cloth looks like the best and easiest solution.

Patch and sell the sail, and put that $50 towards a new one. :cool: This is the "season" to start looking for sails (sales).

That halyard block is a lot better Wilcox & Crittendon model than what usually came from W&C for "board boats". I'd keep using it, and put the unspent money towards sails (sales). Maybe opt for a window?

Those two drains are important right now, so start a squirt of PB Blaster "working" on them. When you've managed to remove them successfully, wrap them with [plumber's] Teflon tape or use an "anti-seize" paste on them.

Getting a trailer with it, too!

Congratulations on a superb purchase. :)

.
I will probably swap out the halyard cleat, this one looks destined to nail someone with the point.

The deck seems solid all the way around I checked for the soundness before buying it. it looks like the paint on the foredeck is coming up just worse in those areas. I will sand it down and either repaint or gel coat it. I have never gel coated anything before.

Would someone buy an old sail like this one?

You did so well with the last resto you decided to do it again... that’s how it starts! Looks like you got a nice deal on a worthy project. Nothing wrong with those deck drains- they’re hard to come by. I think there were only two years that had drains on both port and starboard. Very cool that the original rudder pin and chain haven’t been lost over all these years. How’s the weight? I’d do a leak test- might have some issues under the aluminum trim. I picked up a Fish with the deck in similar shape. I was going to fair and patch paint, but once I found the leaks and removed the trim to seal the seam I decided to paint the whole boat.
Have fun bringing another old Sunfish back to life and stop looking at craigslist or you’ll end up with a garage full of boats (and a few in the yard, too!)
What were those two years with two drains?

She seems light, I am not exactly sure how to weigh her.

My wife is already thinking I am crazy, Tuesday was my birthday so I told her it was my present.

I'll defer to Beldar on the earlier fiberglass boats, the earliest we have seen is our 1965 and it has a sheet hook. Could have been added too, we added a swivel cam cleat. And I was thinking about guessing that those cleats were put on some factory boats, but stopped short of that.

I was too stunned to mention the hinge pin, that's a $50 part, if you can find it. We have a stash of them that are our kid's inheritance. It appears that the keeper chain is attached to the rudder versus the boat, that is a good modification. Check around the rudder assembly horizontal hinge plate (deck plate), you might see a tiny hole on the starboard side of the plate where the keeper chain eye used to be screwed down. Or could have been sealed and painted over.

Also check over that rudder hinge plate for a stamped 4 digit number, she might be a 4 digit boat. Definitely her characteristics line up with the early 60s period. Our 1965 has a serial number plate, but so does our wooden 1963. The data plates were placed between the daggerboard trunk and coaming, oval, with the Alcort emblem and a 5 digit number.

View attachment 30888

Last, check those trailer tires for their MMYY code. Anyhting over 6 years needs to be replaced. No code? I'd replace them.

WHat's her name, she's yar!
It does have a sheet hook, I seemed to not notice it last night. Picture below.

The hinge pin sells for that much? wow..... I didn't notice the attachment point for the chain on the deck this morning.

I looked for a 4 digit number and the metal plate and found neither. no logo or sticker like my 1970.

Is the drain plug trash? (see the picture below)

No name yet, my wife, son, and I are still thinking of a name.

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#11
Wow we love looking at freshwater boats.

The bailer in the cockpit is toast, but as long as it doesn't let water in you can sail with it like the for a while. The bailer in our 65 boat eas glassed over at one point, I thought I would restore it one day but in the meantime she sails just fine, even when all she had was a sheet hook :)

IMG_0020.JPG
 
#12
I have a late 1960's Fish that had the hook


I ended up swapping both of those out for a cam cleat and and a mainsheet block (and later added a stand-up spring).
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#14
1) You are crazy, but your wife already knew that. As far as passions go, Sunfish are relatively cheap.

2) Our friend Howie gave us the idea to put a Sunfish logo over repaired areas. It is very hard to match old gelcoat, so if he did a mast step repair, he'd put down a new gelcoat Sunfish logo over the area. Kind of a badge of honor.

3) If the sail is not dry rotted you could gently clean it, repair it with the adhesive sailcloth and use it. You might like the texture and sound better than the new loud plastic fantastics, plus it is a period correct 5 panel sail, maybe a Ratsey and Lapthorn. We like the old sails, early days of Dacron. We have sold old sunburnt sails that still had some cloth life left on Etsy, people use them for playhouse projects or to make sail bags.

4) We use a a bathroom scale to weigh our boats, the old metal kind. Balance the boat on the side and be careful not to let it drop or add extra weight with a heavy hand. Shhhhh, don't tell anyone but ZSA ZSA was packing a few extra pounds when we got her. We removed soggy foam that shouldn't have been inside and some added framing, all unnecessary weight. We should weigh her again. Your Sunfish should weigh 139 plus up to 5, 144 is not uncommon. Great quality woven roving went into those boats with polyester resin, they are almost bomb proof. And the adhesive expanding foam was hand poured back then, so no overages like they had when they got happy with the new foam guns in the 70s. We love working on the 60s hulls up to 71 or so.

ZSA ZSA weight pre restoration.jpg

1971 BUTTERCUP

Buttercup Casey.jpg

BUTTERCUP Hull Integrity Testing

Buttercup Kent test sail.jpg

1968 ROSEBUD

Rosebud test sail.jpg
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
#17
repair small tears and holes with little Sunfish logos like Breeze Bender did!

Sail Repair Pics
Using sail repair tape, the larger holes should be repaired with the sticky tape applied to both sides. One repair side can be a colored Sunfish and the other side white (and alternately, in your case, blue).

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